Foreign investment into Nigeria drops by 43% – UN report

Foreign direct investment in Nigeria, Africa ’ s top oil producer, plunged by 43 per cent to $ 2 bn , according to a United Nations report .

Reuters reported on Thursday that investors were put off by a dispute between the government and South African telecom giant MTN over repatriated profits. Banks HSBC and UBS both closed representative offices there in 2018 .

That left Ghana , which is in the midst of an oil and gas boom and saw inflows of $ 3 bn , as West Africa ’ s leading destination for foreign investment. Italy ’ s Eni Group was behind Ghana ’ s largest greenfield investment project .

Foreign investment in sub- Saharan Africa rose by 13 per cent last year to $ 32 bn , bucking a global downward trend and reversing two years of decline , according to the UN report .

It said the development of new mining and oil projects , a new US development – finance institution and the ratification of an agreement to create a continent – wide free -trade area could further boost foreign direct investment in 2019 .
Africa stands in sharp contrast to developed economies , which saw FDI inflows plunge by 27 per cent to their lowest level since 2004 , the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development wrote in its ‘ World Investment Report ’ .
Some African countries fared better than others , however . The Southern Africa region performed the best , taking in FDI of nearly $ 4 . 2 bn , up from $ 925m in 2017 . Foreign investment in South Africa more than doubled to $ 5 . 3 bn .

President Cyril Ramaphosa , who took office last year pledging to revive the economy , is seeking to attract $ 100 bn in FDI to Africa ’ s most developed economy by 2023 .
Though much of the South African jump came from intracompany loans , new investments included a $ 750 m Beijing Automotive Group plant and a $ 186m wind farm being built by the Irish company Mainstream Renewable Energy .
Ethiopia remained East Africa ’ s top recipient of FDI at $ 3 . 3 bn , despite an 18 per cent drop compared with the year before .

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all saw increases in FDI inflows . Foreign investment in Uganda jumped 67 per cent to a record $ 1 . 3 bn , boosted by the oil and gas development of a consortium that includes France’ s Total , CNOOC of China and London – listed Tullow Oil .

The creation of the US International Development Finance Corporation could help support FDI inflows this year . A replacement for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, it will be have a budget of $ 60 bn and a mandate to make equity investments .

“ The ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement could also have a positive effect on FDI , especially in the manufacturing and services sectors , ” the report said .

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